Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Theodore Rich

taken at 5 days old. babies are so easy to photograph when they sleep all day long!



Wow, what a crazy few weeks we've had! Our little Teddy is THREE weeks old now! Recovery for me has been great so far, thankfully. It's also helped to have family come help left and right too!

In the last three or four weeks, we have painted rooms in our new home, sanded and finished floors, peeled wallpaper, packed up all our belongings, had swim lessons, Carl went to WI and back, moved into our home, had school assignments written, Carl back to WI for a week, more school papers, graduated from our colleges, and oh yeah, had a baby in the middle of all that. Makes you want to take a nap, right? I could use a nap.


As with my other children, I am sharing my birth story with Theodore. I love reading positive birth stories when I'm close to my due date, so I hope sharing this takes some of the anxieties out of birth for my preggy friends and family.

I was much more patient this pregnancy and decided to not try to induce labor in any way since we had so much going on. In fact, I would have even been okay going past my due date this time around! I opted to not have any vaginal checks, so I never knew how dilated or effaced I was prior to labor and I utilized hypnosis for childbirth via the Hypnobabies self-study course again. My birth with Vivienne was so peaceful, so I had high hopes that it would be similar this time around. I used my hippy hypnosis training and visualized my birth to be after 39 weeks (namely because I didn't want the kids to miss their swim lessons haha!) and the first day past my 39th week, I lost my mucus plug (why does it need to be called that? It sounds so... gross). With my first two, I went into labor within 24-36 hours after losing it! So I went into crazy nesting mode that day and tried to figure out how we would bring a baby home to the chaos we were living in- boxes everywhere, beds on the floor, couches in the dining room, yikes... I went to bed that night and when I woke up for my nightly potty break around 2 am, I felt a light contraction. It felt a little stronger than the Braxton Hicks contractions I'd had the past couple of months of the pregnancy. So I stayed up to see if I would have more and sure enough, the next one was slightly stronger! Excitedly, I woke up Carl and told him that I had felt some contractions and put him to work timing them. After 15 min, they had gotten much stronger, so I called my doctor's office to tell them I was in labor and then we called my mother in law to have her come stay with Ezra and Vivi. She zoomed on over like Lightning McQueen and by then my contractions were much stronger and closer together. Carl and I got into the car and off we went to the hospital! But we only made it to the train tracks down the street before the 5 minute long train crawled by. 5 minutes never felt so long! Sitting down and buckled up during labor is not fun, by the way.

We arrived to the hospital around 3 am and at that point, I was trying very hard to concentrate and not focus on how intense everything felt. Thanks to hypnosis, I wasn't feeling much pain, but it was still a challenge to walk and answer questions. The nurses in the unit didn't seem to think I was that far along in labor because they took their time having me sign consents and taking my weight. I'm pretty sure I looked like I was in labor as I was moaning and leaning up against walls and the nurses' station every two minutes. We got into a room and the nurse hooked me up to the monitors and then did a vaginal check.

This is the part where she suddenly went from chill into high adrenaline mode and called in the team because I was complete! For those unfamiliar with the term, this meant that I was done with transition, completely dilated and effaced, and baby was making his way out. All the nurses and aids must have been bored because I'm pretty sure there were at least 6-7 of them in there. They called my doctor a few times and she was rushing over. I began to have an urge to push after about 15-20 minutes from being checked in. Everything was happening so fast, it became quite the challenge to remain focused and in deep hypnosis, but I did have a couple seconds between contractions to rest and reposition myself. I stayed on my hands and knees for the duration of the labor. My doctor managed to fly into the room about 10 minutes before the birth! Shortly before crowning, my amniotic sack finally broke (woah, step back everyone!). Compared to my experience with Vivienne, I felt a lot more, including pain, but it wasn't horrendous- just intense. I could tolerate it well enough, though it wasn't a walk in the park nor was it "just pressure" as Hypnobabies tries to help you feel. I worried about the dreaded "ring of fire" that occurs at crowning, but it wasn't as dreadful as I read about. Whew. After about 20 minutes of pushing when I felt urges to, my doctor let Carl deliver the baby once his head was out and he announced to everyone "we have another boy!" We named him the next day, but Theodore was placed onto my chest as we waited for his cord to stop pulsating and for the placenta to deliver. I had been in the hospital for about 45 minutes at the time of his birth! To add to the shock, an hour after he was born, he was weighed and Carl and the nurses were all wide eyed when they told me he was 9 lbs, 1 oz! I figured he would be a little bigger than my other babies just because of the struggles I had with the pregnancy, but holy smokes, I was in disbelief that he was two pounds more than my first two!


so, so snuggly

It was such a surreal experience- perhaps a combination of being in the early hours of the morning or just because it was so fast- when he was born, I couldn't help but think "wow, did I just give birth or is this a dream??" I felt like I had much more time to prepare with Vivienne since I labored lightly at home for about six hours and then had more intense labor for 3 hours in the hospital, but this time it was just under two hours from the very first contraction. While I am very much logically minded, there is something to be said about the power of the mind when it comes to pain control. I definitely could not have done this as calmly as I did without my hypnosis preparation.

Just like my other babies, we always use 1-2 family names when naming our children. Theodore was always a favorite name for me because I had a great uncle, whom I never met, that my great aunt Dorothy would endearingly call Teddy. Rich is after my father, Richard, because he never had any sons to carry on his name :) So there you have it- Theodore "Teddy" Rich Leder. We love him to pieces!

My mother-in-law and sister-in-laws worked hard with Carl to somewhat organize our home prior to me coming home a day later, so when I came home, our chaos was a little more organized! Then, my parents drove up the following day and helped around the house some more and with the older kiddos. Carl had to go back to WI last week for finals, graduation, and a boards exam review course, so then my sister and my brother-in-law came and helped out and when they left, my mom came back :) She is here currently and will return to CA tomorrow as Carl will returns the same day. So grateful for all the help! It has made the transition to having three kids much easier, not to mention the extra help while Carl finished his clinical rotations and left for WI, and so that I could finish up school as well (PS- I'm done! Tracey Leder, RN, BSN!).

Thanks for the all the congratulatory texts, messages, phone calls, etc. We have felt the love :)


And just for fun, here is my "studio" for Teddy's photoshoot:
correct, it is a mound of pillows on my bed covered with a comforter.